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Chippewa v. Red Wing Beckman - Need Advice

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    Chippewa v. Red Wing Beckman - Need Advice

    I've been looking to buy a pair of boots to take me through the fall and winter. After much research and flip-flopping, I was able to cull my options down to either the Red Wing Beckman or Chippewa for J. Crew. The fact that both come with a sole that seems a bit more snow-ready was a huge factor.

    If you're wondering why I'm looking at the J Crew Chipps versus the other options (Chippewa, Chippewa GQ, Katahdin), it could be based on a false perception. Basically, when I see images of the regular Chippewas after some time, they appear to have taken on quite a few creases around the ankles. I am not personally a fan of that look and would like to avoid it if possible. The leather on the J Crew version seemed to be more solid, which would lead me to believe it is better suited to maintaining its original appearance. If I'm completely wrong here, please let me know. I don't mind being told I'm a fool! Also, all of these Chippewa versions make things rather confusing.

    So this is where you guys come in. I need help making a final decision.

    Other questions:

    Do you know if either runs smaller? I wear a size 7 in most shoes, so unfortunately I don't have the luxury of sizing down.

    Do you know if either has a smaller profile overall? Being a short person (5'6"), I don't want to wind up with super clunky boots that look disproportionate to the rest of my body.

    In terms of cost:

    Chipp: $211 ($248 regular + %15 student discount)

    Beckman: Not sure, but there's a chance I can get factory seconds which would make them quite affordable. If not, perhaps I can find a coupon for an online retailer to drop the cost a bit.

    Thanks guys!


    I own the Beckman. The toe box is on the clunky side for me, but not too terrible.

    Overall fit is roomy. Good for wearing thick socks. Only comes in D width AFAIK, but half sizes are slightly wider so sizing up works.

    Overall, they straddle the "looks nice" / "ok to wear in the snow" line pretty well, so I'm a fan of them. They're not year round boots, and they're not the sort of thing you're going to wear to a wedding.

    I got my beckmans on sale for about $250. Check a physical RW store if you have one near by.



      I've got the Beckmans as well, style 9016. I bought in a size 11, and it would fit thick wool sock, but still can be laced tight with a regular cotton sock. The toe is large, as kbrown said, and I have kicked a few steps that are irregularly sized, but I don't think it is really that visible when you're wearing them.

      I wear them to work on rainy days (and some days when I'm on the motorcycle), and they never look out of place with khakis. This will be my first winter with them, but I plan to wear them pretty much every day there is snow on the ground.

      Another nice thing - the laces are great, flat waxed cotton (well, I think it's cotton).

      I paid $299 at a local Red Wing store.

      It's also worth noting that these boots made it to the back cover of a Brooks Brothers mailing I received yesterday.



        The Chippewa looks nicer than the Red Wings. I'm not a fan of the toe on the Red Wings. I recently bought the Classic Chippewa boot and I love it. It was super comfortable out of the box and it looks like it's very well made. I plan to use them mostly for camping/hiking and bad weather situations. As far as sizing on my Chippewa boot, I bought the same size as my AE shoes (.5 down from sneakers) and they fit great.

        Have you considered the Wolverine 1000? In my opinion, that's the best looking of the work boots. If it wasn't because I already have the AE Dalton and the Classic Chippewa, I would get the Wolverine 1000. I love that boot. However, i think my wife would divorce me if I buy another shoe/boot.



          As far as sizing, I wear 7D in most everything (Strands, CDB...) and the Chippewa Apache in 7 is just too big and clunky on me. I will have to send them back and try my luck with 6.5s.



            Thanks for all the input thus far everyone.

            Good to know that the Beckmans are indeed a bit bulbous.

            For those of you with the Chippewas, how would you say their appearance has changed over time? Do you find they look mostly the same, or have they taken on a more "rugged" character?

            I guess the best bet would be for me to try and look at both of them in person and if at all possible, try them on. Unfortunately, the only boot that comes in a 6.5 would be the standard Chippewa Apache. The GQ (Zappos) and J Crew versions only go down to a 7.

            In regards to the 1000 Mile - I would agree that they're quite appealing. Unfortunately, I would have to have my cobbler add a rubber sole to them to make them snow capable, and personally I'd rather not.

            Off to see if any stores (Nordstrom, J Crew, etc) nearby carry any of these boots!